U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced has identified cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow) in a dairy farm, central California. The discovery of mad cow disease is the first in six years, after the United States was declared free from mad cow disease.
According to the Chief Veterinary Officer from U.S. Department of Agriculture, John Clifford, the meat from mad cows should not be consumed by humans. “Since it is very risky to human health,” said Clifford, who quoted from New York Times, Tuesday (24/4).
But Clifford explained during a press conference in Washington, the cow’s milk does not carry mad cow disease if taken by humans. He said only meat that affect human health if the meat is infected with mad cow.
This case report is the fourth discovery of mad cow disease in the U.S., after being gone a few years ago. Mad cow disease, according to Clifford is a degenerative disease that affects the brain and ox shoulder blades back. “Humans can contract the disease by eating meat from infected cattle,” he explained.
The United States has an estimated 90.8 million head of cattle, forming a large chunk of the economy in states like Texas, Nebraska, Kansas and California.
Around 40,000 US cattle are tested by the Department of Agriculture each year.
Samples from infected animal were sent to a laboratory in Ames, Iowa, where they proved positive for a rare form of the disease. The results are now being shared with labs in Britain and Canada.
“The US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has confirmed the nation’s fourth case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in a dairy cow from central California,” the government statement said.
“USDA remains confident in the health of the national herd and the safety of beef and dairy products. As the epidemiological investigation progresses, USDA will continue to communicate findings in a timely and transparent manner.”
On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange the price of cattle futures fell on rumors of the news.
The biggest fear for US farmers will now be for sanctions on US beef, a possibility the Department of Agriculture tacitly addressed, and refuted.
One case of mad cow disease in the U.S., in 2003 when a cow is bred in Canada were positive when the mad cow in Washington. As a result of that, American beef exports plummeted, when many countries banned imports cattle from U.S. . Livestock and meat packing company at the time losing billions of dollars.